Thursday, 29 July 2010

I Went A Bit Doo-Lally

I've been up in Wales with the three boys. We were confined to the sheep-shit surrounded house by interminable drizzle, rain, downpours, rain, mist, rain, and rain. I'm ashamed to say I started to lose it somewhat by day three.

However, like all sensible people, I had a plan, and that was to shepherd the boys into the house, and lock the door, and pocket the key so that they were at least safe from drowning, wandering off up mountains in the fog, the yeti, etc. Indoors they could only burn themselves, fall out of windows/downstairs, etc, etc. But once confined, it became hard to leave.

It is hard to explain where mind-explosions come from. I've given up anticipating them. And they can come on so quickly.

I suppose sleep hasn't been that good over the last week. I was getting about four hours-ish last week in Bristol, and then in Wales it went down to about two hours. I didn't feel tired though, and thought little of it.

I suppose also I have been living through a middling amount of stress the last few months years.

Day one I felt extremely angry with K and all the shit that has developed. Didn't sleep. Bathed in torrential stream at dawn while boys slumbered in bed. (I locked them in).

Day two I was seized by an embarrassing fit of the lusts, which was most distracting. Was still ferociously angry. Walked to local village with boys. Anger turning into hate - not an emotion I generally do. Felt urge to mortify the flesh. Was feeling very odd.

Day three I decided it was to be a day of indulgence. Let the boys roam the house like naked filthy monkeys. Lay in bed writing filth and singing the Ode to Joy at the top of my voice. Later something went wrong with my head. Hard to describe, but a sort of hell. Lost track of time. Somehow wrested my brain back into some sort of gear by hammering large nappy pins through my nipples and bathed in the icy stream. Locked us all in the house. Wanted to be subjected to all manner of torments. Had a very disturbing moment regarding my foot in the night - it wasn't mine - it was the same width as it was long - square - most uncanny, and not a little frightening for a while.

Day four I floundered, frightened, unable to do the simplest thing - I wanted to get the hell out of there with the boys but couldn't even work out how to start washing-up and cleaning the house. Couldn't leave the damn door. I lay in bed, in a funk and a state of self-horror. Eventually I forced myself to wash up (took over two hours), sweep up, pack, empty the shitter, etc, and frogmarch the boys back to the car. Then I drove for four and a half hours down to Devon, where I currently am, and feeling much better*.

So a bizarre few days. I found it irksome, worrisome and extremely aggravating that this came on while I was looking after the boys. But that said, that place, and those conditions, anyone would have had a funny turn.

However, through a measure of sense, planning, and luck, and wonderfully patient support by text and phone from TOMGB, I somehow got through it. Now a few days in Devon to recuperate, then I'm off for some much-needed grown-up company, whither I do not know, nor could dare say.

* My nipples are still smarting, though.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Been Yearning For Extinction, But It's Alright Ma, I'm Only Being Weak, Temporarily

Feeling sad, ashamed, angry, revolted, aghast at all the hideousness... well it can overwhelmingly make one wish for it all to stop and vanish, including me. But it's not suicidal. It's just temporary weakness - a lack of strength, a lack of firmness and fortitude. It won't last.

Taking the boys away for a long week tomorrow. I am looking forward to it. It will be a good chance to catch up with them properly. K is off gallivanting, and I hope she has a wonderful time. I'm not an ogre.

I've been busy. Slipping back into the ways of remembering how to work. Damn it, I'm good at what I do. Always nice to remember, or to have it demonstrated by oneself, to oneself. Been in charge of works for the last two days. All hopeful for the future.

But I keep zoning-out when staring at drops. The drops don't scare me; neither do they fascinate. I just keep being sucked into them. They don't exist, and I know I wouldn't if I entered their sphere of non-existence, like a swimmer slipping softly from the side of a lake. But it's not serious; and it's not a cause for worry. It just is.

Other news. Full of a boiling lustiness and goodwill. How can one be like that and simultaneously be an infolding of infolds? Maybe the infold curls like a flower waving to the world as it curls in?

Had a lovely lunch in a low-couched Moroccan restaurant. Spicy beans and spinach and mint tea.

The world moved against me, and I smiled at it. Somedays I feel like a ghost. But it is all fine. Fine? Tolerable. I'll get over myself.

Going out playing music in Bristol tonight. Just heard the ex is in town. She will be planning on going. I texted to let her know I was too, and that I don't mind if she turns up, but it is her with that problem. No reply yet. Maybe I'll have the enjoyment of a public psychotic scene with her. Not me, you understand. Not me. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Disconnected Slices and Slithers

i) When an event of extreme emotional import occurs, no single interpretation will suffice. All the varied explanations are probably true, and none will stand by itself, and many will be contradictory.

ii) Black and white thinking: "It was all perfect / it was all shit." "I am perfect; you are shit." "It is all your fault." "After all I've done for you how can you treat me so horribly?" (~ rhetorical ~ answer your own question: 'What have you done for (to) me, for me to treat you so?' - Real life is a mixture of good times, bad times, boring and interesting, all blended to a farty paste of varied tedium - one aspect never defines the whole, and black and white thinkers always make that mistake, and contradict themselves by the minute.

iii) A long and complex emotional or loving history only makes sense when viewed through a variety of prisms, both modern and arcane. Sometimes contradictory drives or urges or goads combine to push events in a certain direction, even though this seems paradoxical.

iv) Alone. Be hard. Like a stone. A desert quartz, dry, and unblinking. Not the fitful emerald, nor the liquid sapphire.

v) Being homeless with a car is definitely preferable to being homeless without a car, but not by much.

vi) Advocatus diaboli - You have been bored with your wife, with fatherhood too, evidently. All that seeking-out of people. Were you after novelty? ~ M aybe. I'm probably guilty of all manner of things. Easier to declare what I am not guilty of.

vii) Moments of fate. But how to tell the good ones from the bad ones? When is forwards backwards? Or when is an apparently retrograde step really an advance? To act when all seems wrong apart from the insistent voice in the core; to hold back, wary, when all seems right. But take care against over-caution, and guard against stubbornness.

Friday, 16 July 2010

O Sole Mio & Other Tidbits

What necessity truly is in self-consciousness, it is for this new form of self-consciousness, in which it knows its own self to be the principle of necessity. It knows that it has the universal of law immediately within itself, and because the law is immediately present in the being-for-self of consciousness, it is called the law of the heart. ~ Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit, 367.

For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? ~ Corinthians i, 3:3.

In a certain district of a certain city, at a certain hour of the early evening, an ice-cream van trundles up and down the streets, bravely chiming a tintinnabulation of O Sole Mio. It sounds like the infernal soundtrack of an Italian neo-realist film played by an enthusiastic yet incompetent steel-drum band. It has, for better or worse, forced itself upon us uninvited to become our 'theme'. It has all of the necessary qualities: sweetness, nostalgia, sadness, hope, absurdity, and a hint of distant menace.

The ice-cream van possesses a diabolic power of stealth. It arrives out of nowhere, it seems, blaring its discordant music without warning. We never see the driver. We suspect it drives itself. In fact, we never see it entirely whole: always a mere part of it as it creeps out of sight around the corner. A different ice-cream van turned up last week. It has now vanished. Perhaps the Sole Mio van has eaten it as a victorious conclusion to some night-time ice-cream war?


Yesterday, during a long and disgracefully lazy day, we were reading Hegel aloud - rehearsing a wonderful idea we had had for an audio-book - our target audience was to be sexually frustrated Phd students who could benefit - so we thought - from a somewhat circumspect addition of a comically erotic frisson to their reading of the itselfs and for-itselfs; later we practiced on St Paul's Epistle to the Corinthians, possibly eyeing up the Christian Bookshop market - armouring ourselves with the understandable rationale that taking the word of that nasty little man in vain was no blasphemy, and hence fair game - but this was before the thunderstorm finally broke over our heads.

Monday, 12 July 2010

One of the Worst Birthdays of My Life.

So hence, there may be some amusement and interest in reading the tales of my woes and heartaches. An edited account, followed by some randomness.

I wrenched myself away from a vision of sweet sleepiness at six am on the dot, and drove down the length of the country in record time, pulled into temporary 'home' for a quick pot of espresso, then out to the shops, bread, butcher's (funny, forgotten how to buy meat, bought too much belly pork), packed everything I thought myself and the boys would need (did I forget to say we were going camping?), then leapt into the car and drove over to the bloody mother-in-law's, to be confronted with enough bags and shit to sustain Napoleon's army into Russia and back. As I had clearly specified in quasi-legalese the need for only one change of clothes, a raincoat each, and some plates, I have to confess to letting a 'remark' slip to the MIL. She querulously replied that "There are three of them you know..." to which I retorted that I firstly could count, and secondly that I had met them before, and bundled them into the car after discarding three-quarters of the bags, and sped off with nary a backwards glance. Then drove two hours across the country this time, over hill and dale, river and afon, through the ruddiest agricultural lanes deeply cleft between heavy hedges, etc, inhabited by red-necked people driving red tractors at every blind bend (yes, this is Herefordshire).

So camped, and a lovely quiet campsite it was too. Boys started fighting as I put up the tent. Took them for a walk to wear off their energy. Found a pub (shut, more's the pity). Walked/carried them back. Set them gathering firewood. After an hour of that, I set them guarding each other and quickly found enough for the evening. Cue fire, spit-roasted gobbets of pig, warm cider slurped from the bottle, and reasonably well-content children when - bang! bang! zap! stab! prang! - spit spit bleargh! DIE DIE DIE DAMN YOU YOU FUCKING WASP YELLOW BLACK STRIPED CUNT OF A ... etc. Yes, stung three or four times on the tongue, and the gum, and the lip on its final exit before I manfully and hysterically slew it in a passion.

It hurt somewhat. Luckily I'm not allergic to the horrible wee blighters, but it felt like a spike had gone through my tongue and RH upper and lower molars, and out of the back of my neck, which simultaneously felt as if a clumsy mason had been practicing swinging a lumphammer against it. There must be a nerve there, or something. Also the tip of my tongue, which was worst affected, being employed in the frantic expulsion process, started leaking a weird slime. Most vexing.

The evening went downhill from there. All the boys cried together, except Nye, who was asleep. I don't know how it started. I just couldn't keep it together. It probably was a good thing, all told, more helpful than our bright and stilted politeness and guardedness of the last two months, with them not knowing what or why. Eventually I rallied the troops: "Is this supposed to be a birthday party, or what?!!" which made them laugh, and we waded a couple of hundred yards of the stream, even Nye, who'd woken by then, though it came up to his neck.

Poor Nye. For some reason I suddenly had this doubt that I was his father. I don't know where it came from. It makes me sick to even think that I had this thought. I couldn't recognise any of my family in his face. And knowing past duplicities, I immediately started working out the dates of conception, and remembered that I was very surprised at the time that he was conceived when he was supposed to have been, etc. But then I remembered that who the fuck cares? I'm still his Daddy.

Later, I was sat by the last of the fire, under plops of rain, listening to the pre-sleep grunts and shufflings of the boys, drinking yogi licorice tea by the gallon. But I still felt like howling my guts out to the gathering clouds. The boys were so sweet, so understanding, and worst of all for me, so complicit.


The worm of doubt: squash it and it still nibbles your core. Faggots like two half-rotten bull's balls in gravy, and very tasty they were too I thought, eating them, as we paused for lunch while slowly made our way back across Herefordshire the next day. Tired from the night of wasp-induced toothache, neckache, headache, four bodies lying twisted together under three sleeping bags - a paucity of bedclothes, while outside the wind rattled and spat through the branches and the deafening spatter of the rain implicating its vipurative intent within my eardrums.

Why am I suddenly assailed by conjunctions of dates, doubts, inexplicable behaviours? A mismatch of recognisable features. I hate myself for having even thought it. Even if it was true, I'd not deny my daddyhood. But it isn't true. It's all in my head.

Love and guilt: when I am with the children I love being with them so much, their smell, all all my senses are filled with them, and it makes me unbearably sad for the times together missed, and the times to come to be missed too. Every hint of fucked-up-ness, contrariness, bad-behaviour is now tainted with guilt - is our splitting to blame? Are we damaging them? More than we were when fighting together? I try to be happy in their company, but the two older boys know that is a lie. That is why they seemed relieved when I cried with them, for them. I think they were reassured that because Daddy is so sad not being with them the rest of the time, ergo he does still love them, after all.

I gave the boys licorice tea. They loved it. I said jokingly: "Don't tell your mother. She doesn't like it." The first thing middle boy said on his return to her was: "We had licorice tea - it was yummy!" She replied that she likes it too, but hard to find in supermarkets. An old photograph I took of her, when she was seventeen. She is giving me a black, blank stare.

Two modes of being: life begins anew - Now! - everything is a new beginning. The other, full of regret and doubt for what has passed. One must hang on to the first, hopeful mode, or else go mad. But when the feeling that all new beginnings are the same as what has passed, or that the fresh air of change is frozen in a stale stasis like a trapped fart or when one finds oneself hoping listlessly for death to creep up softly behind you, then there is nothing to do but give a great stretch, oink like a boar, shriek like a bat, leap like an ape, force one's exhausted mind and body to scamper in the ratwheel, onwards, onwards - to keep going to avoid something bad, continual movement to escape the tentacles of the pit... then always make sure one can oil the bearings of the wheel: one doesn't want them to seize and catch fire. But with what should I oil them, dear Lila, dear Lila? What substance suits? What is the sensible lubrication? Alcohol works for a while at least, of course, though it corrodes the very bearings it smooths. The slick wonder of sex; the soporific quality of strong coffee; foodstuffs of many sorts; but yogic breathing is fine in principle, but bores the wheel. What on earth am I blathering about? Shut up! Enough! Shhhhhhh!

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Word Salads

Almost ripe, deep in the promised garden, their heads encased in dirt, their hearts like stones tickled up by frost. Paragons of desire, drowsing in their fantasy of growth, ornaments of that gleaming truth that quietly enervates an over-wildness of dreams. Promises breathe forth from this sanguine endeavour. Drench of a summer rain, heavy in its condition, drunken with trustful energy, while the ground sweetens with a sugared understanding.

The air is fresh, full of promises, as strong as wine, and within the hot manure let us observe the sprouting seeds: do seeds dream? If so, they dream that turquoise is the colour of the sky above their lair; they dream their skin blisters the tongues of their shoots escaping; a harvest of berries breathes in the sun.

* * *

Love is an eternal fusillade, an amalgamation of struggles. What does God's trowel represent, but the opaque guile of the gardener? We follow all thoughts, explode solutions, cunningly, with acumen at times, less clever when the night seems full of hazard.

Still, when our courage lapses, then temerity is needed, for frolics; for to lick those influences into harmonious shape, always with the glossiness of the perfect vegetable: ripe, not an hour early nor late in picking.

You and I, woman and man, lie in repose, upon an ocean of whim - we think, systematize, but remember at last to embrace. Our song is not sung by a sly pedagogue, but is sheathed in the bulb as the temperature of the sweet soil rises.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Not Coping At Work

Nauseous with horror. Filled with wild despair. Etc, etc. Not at my situation in the here and now, but of the wider here and now.

Here is swinging on a rope, eighty feet up, at present, staring at a bullnose string, cavetto return, and a roll-moulding, all encrusted with black sulphate blisters. Calcium, exposed to all our pollution, air-borne particulates and acid-gases transmutes into gypsum, but not the sparkling spar one associates with gleaming deserts, but a cancerous black cauliflower textured growth, botryoidal in form, if smaller. Carefully I clean, chip delicately, scrape judiciously, brush with angry violence, yet concentrating for all my life is worth.

It is as well that dust gets in my eyes. An excuse for those strange, over-active, angry glands that spill drops of pure seawater, despite my best intention.

Where is hope? It comes and goes with each cloud that crosses the sun. It is not founded on logic or reason, this ghastliness.

I stop and gaze down through the empty air, and study the small teeth of the gravestones below. What am I doing here? Spider on its thread, or fly entangled hopelessly, just another form of hanging around waiting for whenever it's all over?

The others sense I'm not myself, but I fake it when they enquire with kindness.

Faces everywhere, tiny knotted ones in the black crusts, more swirling in the clouds, with the blank eye of the sun staring through.

Pained, resigned faces do not belong on young boys. I keep seeing them, and my heart breaks each time, and I am thankful for the dust.

Sunday, 4 July 2010


Quiet Carriage, Number One.
"Stick your Maltesers up your arse," shouted the old lady, wheelchair bound, to her son/brother/youthful husband.

"Did you like that bucket of chips?" he replies.

"Fuck off, no! No! What is he saying again? Fuck off."

She falls to sobbing and cursing, quietly.

"You owe me money!"

"No I don't."

"Yes you do! You owe me three pounds!"

"I'll give you two and you give me five and that will cover the taxi."

"No! Fuck off with your taxi! Stick it up your arse!"

"Well, you owed me before we took that trip to Blackpool. It cost me a packet."

"Stick your packet. You stole it from me!"

"Well, we're quits then."

"Yes! We're quits then, so stop fucking griping." 

Quiet Carriage, Number Two.
A bunch of football cunts, out on the tear, Tamworth to Brum. Soft as shit. If a few glares and a sneer and a laugh in their face can send them out to another carriage, then soft as rain-softened, worm-ate stools on boggy, marish ground. 

Quiet Carriage, Number Three.
During the chaos, bloated gut-buckets (male) screaming falsetto grunting aggressive petulancies at the children, and his similarly corpulent wife, turns to the mother and asks in caustic bray (I am ashamed to say they were from the town I was born in): "Have they all come yet?"

"No," replies Gran, brightly surveying the wincing carriage subjected to electronic trumpets, drums and racing cars, "No, dear, they've not come yet, but they soon all will."

Bring on the plastic electric orgasm "quiet-coach" convulsion and let the universe end.